Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a small world....

So what's going on in the world today? Or should that be, who was it that found the world yesterday? A Chinese lawyer has what he describes as 'proof' that Chinese explorer named Zheng He 'discovered' the Americas more than 80 years previously to Columbus, albeit travelling across the Pacific rather than the Atlantic.

Lets ignore the fact that the word 'discovered' completely dismisses several indigenous races who pretty much knew of the continents existence a long time before. In fact, lets even ignore that said indigenous peoples bear some resemblences to near neighbours in Eastern Asia anyway (after all, at their northern points the two continents are not that far apart, and cross-pollenisation is not that remote a possibility). Lets instead look at the 'facts' as presented.

The 'proof' is a map (shown above) which shows the Americas to the right hand side with Europe and Africa at the left and Asia in the middle. As with post-Columbus maps it assumes a spherical world, but rather than the Euro-centric models we are used to this is more... well, China-centric. Understandably. The original of this map is said to have been drawn in 1418... and herein lies the problem. The 'proof' is not the original map.

The map in question is an 18th century copy, which unsurprisingly has caused many to doubt the claim that Zheng He set foot on American soil before old Chris. It's too long winded to go into in detail but suffice to say both sides can produce oodles of evidence to support their claim (if you really want to know, click here). And of course the waters are truly muddied by decades old claims that the Vikings were there a few centuries earlier.

So allow me to sort it out once and for all. The first non-natives to visit the New World were a pair of Gauls named Asterix and Obelix. I know my history, I've read the bloody book! And if anyone else out there likes comic-strips please allow me to draw (pardon the pun) your attention to the All-New and Exciting Adventures in Blog World, starring many of the fuckers that are listed down the right. It's called Blunt Cogs, and if you don't get that then you're already screwed......

Cheers m'dears!


At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:13:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

The map's a crock. And a TWENTIETH CENTURY crock to boot. The way to tell is always the detail around the Arctic Ocean, unknown or guessed at until quite recently.
QE fucking D

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:45:00 pm, Blogger justin barker said...

huh I heard it was Irish monks set adrift in curraghs.

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:01:00 pm, Blogger El Barbudo said...

I'm with you on the Obelix and Asterix thing. I read that book too.

So are you going to link to Blunt Cogs in your sidebar, or are you wating until you've sent in a script and had a strip built?

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:08:00 pm, Blogger El Barbudo said...

Never mind. Just seen it.

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:56:00 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

i am going with asterix

better that way than tintin. wee wank that he is.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:51:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Doc, I believe I read that the map has been authenticated as C18th. Hard to believe it might be C15th though!

Justin, possibly right - everywhere you go there always seems to be an Irishman there before you!

El B, I will write a story... just waiting for inspiration!

And Michael - I agree... way, way better than Tintin!

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 3:02:00 pm, Blogger Sarah said...

all that for that.

i do like you, you long winded goose!

checking out the blunt cogs link.. not the first time i've seen it linked either.. i'm slow sometimes.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 4:11:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

I was going to write something big and clever about the map and all but I got halfway through and thought "fuck this, I'm off for a pint". Asterix was the only way out I could think of...... and it did make a neat link to the bluntcogs thingie.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 4:11:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Authenticated? Who by?
So, they knew all those African and American rivers in the 1700's did they? They took the bother to map the coast of Antartica? They were familiar with spherical projection? Was this a secret map? Who financed it? It could not have been compiled from contempary maps as all those were secret, and of huge value. Thus we are led to believe that some chinaman financed The Mapping of the World in 1418? A task not completed by the Admiralty, at great cost and in secret until 18 something, and that left out great bits of the interiors (rivers mountains) and coastlines, the afore mentioned arctic regions.
They must think we're fools.

I hope that clears it up for you. There will be a test tomorrow.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 4:24:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Shit, Doc... calm down! I thought you were going to hit me for a second! Okay, I may have made a mistake and said C18th instead of 1800's. I don't have the thing in front of me anymore though. And the whole sperical projection thing is one of the reasons they think its fake, not because it wasn't done at all but because it was only done by Europeans, not Asians.

If I'm wrong about all this please don't beat the bejeezus out of me!

ps - my WV is ckbagqkm. Someones having a fucking laugh now, aren't they?

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 6:31:00 pm, Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I have a thing about maps.
Anyway, what's all this about hitting people? We're among ourselves. You worry too much.

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 1:37:00 am, Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

I thought it was that Welsh guy, Modoc, who discovered us.

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 7:56:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

No worries Doc.... end of a long day when I wrote that.

MacBean, thanks for dropping by - no offense meant but aren't you a descendant of the discoverers rather than the discovered?

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:52:00 pm, Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

Right Right, Your Bloody Well Right!


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